The world luxury is often synonymous with money and whilst I debated over calling this ‘the most expensive destinations in the world’ surprisingly enough, some of these destinations are very affordable. I’ve stayed on The Exuma island in the Bahamas and whilst it was incredibly luxurious, it was definitely money well spent (albeit the fact that it took over 40 hours to get to from Sydney). Some would say luxury is defined by a state of great comfort and elegance, especially when involving great expense. So in order to be true to the word ‘luxury’, the following list of destinations combines all these things (and more)…
The Maldives offers unrivalled luxury in the form of over-water bungalows, private islands, pristine beaches and plenty of Sunshine. We’ve all seen the shots of honeymooners walking hand in hand towards their over-water bungalows and no doubt these shots are normally taken in The Maldives.
STAY: Soneva Jani Maldives
Soneva Jani, located in the Medhufaru lagoon in the Noonu Atoll, comprises five islands, the largest of which is Medhufaru. The resort can be reached by a scenic 40 minute seaplane flight direct from Malé International Airport, a 60 minute speedboat ride from Soneva Fushi, or by a leisurely half-day cruise from Soneva Fushi onboard Soneva in Aqua. Inspired by a word that means Wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is a collection of unique Water Villas set within a lagoon of crystal clear waters. Surrounded by pristine beaches, each Water Villa opens to its very own stretch of endless crystal blue water and is complete with a private pool. What’s more, many of the villas feature slides from the top floor straight into the lagoon and have a retractable roof to stargaze from the master bedroom. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Soneva Jani also features an outdoor silent cinema – a first for the Maldives.
For more information on Soneva Jani click HERE.
Cannes literally screams the words luxury, glamour and exclusivity. Imagine sailing along the French Riviera in a private yacht, whilst basking in the sun, sipping on French champagne. Throw in some beautiful people, posh neighbourhoods and a movie star or two and you have yourself all the ritz and glamour that is Cannes. Cannes as a destination rose to fame from the world renowned Cannes Film Festival (dating back to 1946). The festival has gained international reputation for attracting the world’s rich and famous and year after year celebrities flock to Cannes for the festival and all that the resort town has to offer.
STAY: Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc
Built originally as a private mansion in 1970, Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc sits at the Southern tip of Cap d’Antibes on the French Riviera. Surrounded by gardens and with spectacular views of the Mediterranean coastline, it’s no wonder A Class celebrities flock here every Summer. With 116 guestrooms situated in three different locations, Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc offers luxury and exclusivity at every turn.
For more information on Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc click HERE.
Located in East Africa, 100 islands make up the paradise that is Seychelles. Steeped in history, the islands of Seychelles used to be a haven that pirates would use as a hide out. It is believed that treasure worth more than $160,000 was hidden on the islands and is yet to be discovered. Today Seychelles is a picture-perfect paradise that houses some of the rarest species of birds in the world. Another fun fact, Seychelles’ capital, Victoria, is actually the smallest capital city in the world – you can explore it by foot in just one day.
STAY: Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Zil Pasyon is a luxurious resort located on a private island Northeast of Seychelles International Airport. Part of the Six Senses group (which has been voted as the best hotel group in the world), Zil Pasyon offers the perfect combination of seclusion and connectedness. The sole resort on the island, Six Senses Zil Pasyon is a year round destination boasting exclusive private pool villas with sweeping panoramas of the Indian Ocean.
For more information on Six Senses Zil Pasyon click HERE.
Located in the heart of French polyniesia, Tahiti is a luxurious tropical escape known for its pristine black-sand beaches, shadowy waterfalls, lagoons and volcanoes. Whilst Tahiti has a reputation for exclusivity, it is actually very affordable. This French speaking paradise is renowned for its glorious over-water bungalows and it is little wonder given they are actually the official inventors of are that type of stay.
STAY: St Regis Bora Bora
One look at the St Regis Bora Bora and you’ll understand why it has made the most luxurious list. Offering unforgettable ocean views, world class service and 5 star amenities, St Regis Bora Bora is the ultimate South Pacific getaway. Set in the shadow of Mount Otemanu and by the shores of one of the worlds most beautiful lagoons, St Regis Bora Bora is a Polynesian dreamland made on earth.
For more information about St Regis Bora Bora click HERE.
Venice is located in Northern Italy and is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Strangely enough, Venice has no roads, just canals. It does have streets, but some are just 53cm wide, enough for a person to pass through (only just)! According to Venice tradition, couples riding on a gondola should kiss under every bridge and they shall stay in love forever. The luxury of Venice comes from its grand palaces sitting on picturesque canals, rising straight out of the water. These historic hotels date back way back into history and yet are still full of all the romance and charm of the yesteryear.
STAY: Palazzina G
This 5 star luxury hotel is located in the heart of the characteristic Venice, sitting right on the historic Grand Canal. Offering first class luxury and endless elegance, Palazzina G was created by the inspiration of French architect Phillipe Starck. The 3 story Palazzina G is housed in a classic 16th Century shell, with modern rooms and amenities, thus marrying contemporary and romantic design.
For more information on the Palazzina G click HERE.
Jamaica is a Caribbean island nation known for its lush rainforest, reef lined beaches and that infamous bobsled team (who could forget Cool Runnings?!). Offering some of the world’s best exclusive and all-inclusive resorts, Jamaica is ranked 5th in the world for having the happiest people on the planet (and its little wonder when there’s a whole lot of rum and coconuts going around).
STAY: Sandals Resort Royal Caribbean
The Caribbean’s first ever over-water villas, Sandals Resort at Montego bay in Jamaica exudes exclusivity and decadence. Hovering above turquoise seas, these gorgeous Tahitian style bungalows feature see-through glass floors, an overwater hammock and private butler service (ok, where do we sign up?!).
For more information on Sandals Resort click HERE.
Santorini is an island that lays about 200km Southeast of Greece’s mainland, surrounded by the Aegean Sea. Arguably one of the most romantic destinations in the world, Santorini is synonymous with exclusivity, indulgence and luxury. There’s certainly no beating a Santorini sunset, cocktail in hand as you lay sun kissed, watching the world go by. If deluxe hotels, private butler services and world-class spas are to your taste, then Santorini is the place for you.
STAY: Mystique Hotel
Sitting on Oia’s most famous cliffs, the Mystique Hotel offers unforgettable views of the Santorini horizon and beyond. Built in typical Greek Island style, the Mystique is an exclusive resort that captures all the magic that Santorini has to offer. Voted as one of the most romantic hotels, there’s no denying there’s something magical in the air at the Mystique Hotel.
For more information on Mystique Hotel click HERE.
St Barthélemy Island is located in the French West Indies and has been dubbed one of the sexiest islands in the Caribbean. The jury is still out as to its official name (is it St Barts or St Barths?) yet whatever you want to call it, this island is decidedly a tropical paradise. St Barths is like an island dream come true, offering exclusivity without the pretentiousness. A haven for celebrities and millionaires, its easy to see why St Barths is one of the best luxury travel destinations in the world.
STAY: Le Sereno
Voted the number one resort in the Caribbean in 2016 by Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, Le Sereno Saint Barthélemy is a tropical island paradise. Overlooking the water at Grand Cul de Sac, Le Sereno is one of the few resorts that can lay claim to being located on the beach in St Barths. With 24 hour room service, a full service spa, fitness centre, gourmet restaurants and beachfront swimming, Le Sereno has everything you need and more.
For more information on Le Sereno click HERE.
Located on France’s Mediterranean coastline, Monaco is famous for its upscale casinos, yacht lined harbour and luxury hotels. This tiny, but wealthy country is only 2 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in the world (after Vatican City). But what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in glamour and grandeur.
STAY: Hotel Metropole
In 1989 the Hotel Metropole was given a makeover, entirely rebuilding the structure to its former Belle Epoque style and retaining the rich history of the building. The hotel now offers luxurious rooms designed by renowned interior designer Jacques Garcia, restaurants managed by Michelin-Starred chef Jöel Robuchon and a spa from The House of Givenchy. What more could you want?!
For more information on Hotel Metropole click HERE.
Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates and is known for all things grand and luxurious. Housing some of the world’s tallest hotels, the largest mall and the second largest man-made marina, it’s little wonder tourist flock to Dubai every year. It is one of the fastest growing cities, home to some of world’s riches people and known for its progressive infrastructure, luxurious shopping and larger than life experiences. With virtually a 0% crime rate and an income tax rate of 0% (yes, you read that right), Dubai is a haven for those with money to spend on the finer things in life.
STAY: Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
The Burj Al Arab didn’t get its title as the most luxurious hotel in the world for no reason. This 7-star resort (is that even possible?) offers exceptional service and experiences throughout – from chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, Helicopter trips, private beach access and personal butlers. Featuring 9 signature restaurants and bars, you’re spoiled for choice (I’d choose the restaurant that features a simulated submarine yoyage, but that’s just me). The Burj Al Arab is the forth tallest hotel in the world and just to give you an indication – the height of their restaurant lobby is taller than the Statue of Liberty.
For more information on the Burj Al Arab click HERE.
THE EXUMAS, BAHAMAS
The Exumas in the Bahamas is renowned for its crystal clear water and white pristine beaches combined with some of the friendliest and happiest people you’ll ever meet. Staying on this tropical island feels like you’ve disconnected from the rest of the world in the best possible way, letting you completely relax, stress-free. If spending your days floating in the calm ocean and drinking cocktails by the shore is your idea of luxury, then the Bahamas is just for you.
STAY: Leaf Cay Resort
The only private island resort in the Exumas, Leaf Cay Resort offers expansive ocean views, long sandy beaches and the most pristine water you’ll ever see. The overwater bungalows feature glass floors, internet wifi and outdoor pools, so you can take in the uninterrupted beauty that this part of the world has to offer.
For more information on Leaf Cay Resort click HERE.